Nutrition Planning for Marathon Training

May 25th marks the official start to my McMillan Personal Training Plan. Until then, I’ve been working on my cardio strength by building up my straight-up running stamina. Since I normally do a 2/1 walk/run interval, I’ve been spending the last month working through a 5K training app on my iPhone.

I know, it sounds weird to be 5K training after so many half marathons and 2 fulls, but I’m trying to get a stronger cardio base and I’d like to have the ability to run my mid-week runs without walk breaks if possible/needed and just keep the intervals to my long runs.

I’ve also been looking closely at the Nutrition Guide that was sent with my training plan. I know I can’t count on losing weight during the endurance/marathon training, but I may try to drop a few pounds during the first month of ‘base training’.

I appreciated the depth of detail given in the Nutrition Guide. I’m not a numbers person, and frankly my eyes usually glaze over when articles start talking about how to calculate how many gms/lb you need of carbohydrates or protein based on your activity level and body weight. Gaaaah! Numbers!!

This time, however, I was able to slog through and make the calculations. Holy moly, I’m going to be taking a one-way ticket to carb-town. Whee! Bring on the pretzels and beer!

My kind of nutrition! photo credit: ines saraiva via photopin cc
My kind of nutrition!
photo credit: ines saraiva via photopin cc

Thankfully, the Nutrition Guide is careful to explain the types of carbs you should be looking for via Nutrient Dense Foods (Fruits, Veggies, Whole Grains), so I can’t pretend that I can eat a whole plate of noodles topped with breadsticks every night for dinner, as tempting as that might be.

What I really should be eating. photo credit: svacher via photopin cc
What I really should be eating.
photo credit: svacher via photopin cc

As a result, I’m heading into my training armed with the specific knowledge of how many calories, how many carbohydrates, how much protein and how much fat I need on a daily basis. Working with the myfitnesspal app, I should be able to track that without much trouble. That said, the recommended training totals from McMillan don’t really align with myfitnesspal’s recommended percentages, but what do they know?

My only stumbling block will be the food available to me on the ship. I don’t have the luxury of whole grains here. The closest I can come is some wallpaper paste masquerading as oatmeal in the mornings. I’m going to have to come up with something clever in order to accomodate that need.

In order to get enough servings of Omega-3 Fatty Acids, I’ll either need to eat at the sushi restaurant 3 times a week, (yum, but pricy) or figure out a way to include Flax Seed Oil into my life. Oh yeah, and I’ll also need to buy some Flax Oil.

Protein’s not so rough, but it’s all super oily. We’re talking chicken breasts grilled in enough oil to shame the Exxon Valdez. Champagne problems, I guess. A girl can always dab. In the end, a buffet is a buffet. It’s not ideally where you’d want to get your nutrition for training, but it’s what I’ve got for the next 9 weeks. Here’s the point where I say, I miss my Nutribullet terribly, though.

How does your diet change when you’re training for a race?


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